I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who bemoaned the fact that there seems to be far less people willing to play wargames these days. In my own case, I certainly know that I play perhaps 10% as much as I used to when I lived in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Some of it is related to my past health issues, some to my incredibly busy work schedule, some to my other interests that have taken a priority (playing with my little grandson, book writing, publishing Charge hardcopy, blogging, etc.), but some of it is also due to a shifting in my interests as I enter my early 50s. After decades of hauling massive boxes of baseball cards to countless conventions and flea markets, and then toting wargaming materials to conventions, I no longer have the desire to set up and exhibit at public shows as much as I prefer to walk around and see what others have lugged with them.
In looking at old HMGS-East convention programs from the early 2000s, I was struck by how many gamemasters in the Civil War genre who used to be regulars or semi-regulars in presenting JR3 and other rules games repeatedly are now missing from the ranks of recent conventions (myself included, as I have only presented two public games in the past two years). Luckily, there are some talented new gamemasters who have appeared to fill in some of the slack caused by the cessation of gamemastering by the “old guard,” and this new blood offers hope for the future.
How about in your area? Is there a new generation of younger gamemasters who are not only keeping the hobby of Civil War miniature gaming alive, but prospering and growing? Or, is wargaming in general slowly falling by the wayside in your community? What efforts are underway (if any) to attract new peope to the hobby of miniature wargaming?